You’d Think I Grew Up in a Barn

My husband is always amazed by movies, shows or videos that I’ve never seen. Last night, we were watch a video of Bryan Adams “Cuts Like a Knife” on VH1 Classic (God, I’m so old.), and I made some sort of remark about the video. Danny asked, “You’ve never seen this before.” I told him no. These days when this happens, he merely shakes his head. Occasionally, I’ll get “I can’t believe you haven’t seen (insert name of movie/show here)!”

The truth is, my parents weren’t big on entertainment when I was growing up. Sure, we had a TV, but we didn’t get cable until I was a junior in college. (So, thanks Mom and Dad, for letting me miss out on the years when MTV actually played videos!) If I wanted to see videos it meant staying up late on Friday to watch “Friday Night Videos,” which I did every once in a while. We had a VCR when I was in middle school, but we used it mainly for taping “Days of Our Lives” and “Another World.” After all, my mother and I had our priorities.

Movies weren’t really big for us either. I never saw Star Wars or Empire Strikes Back at a movie theater. I did see Return of the Jedi, though. I think the first movie I remember seeing was Hot Lead and Cold Feet. It was at the drive-in around the corner from our house. Ah, drive-ins, you definitely don’t see those in the south anymore. People might think of southerners as being dumb, but we’re not about to sit in our cars on a muggy summer night to watch a movie when we can sit in an air-conditioned theater and do the same thing! We got rid of that institution a long time ago.

I also saw E.T. when it came out and bawled like a baby at the end. My parents took us to see Gremlins when I was in the sixth grade, and my dad hated that movie so much that I don’t think he went back to the theaters until he and my mother went with another couple friend of theirs to see 50 First Dates. My movie-going experience is far inferior to Danny’s, but it’s not a result of my parents’ being strict. They weren’t forbidding me to see them. We just didn’t go.

So I just have to laugh it off when Danny says “How could I have married you without knowing whether or not you have seen (insert name of movie/show/video here)?” Somehow I don’t feel as if my childhood was that deficient because of it. I stayed in my bedroom, listened to ’80s pop music and wrote cheesy love poems instead. Wasn’t that a much more valuable use of my time?

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